Phillies 1B Bryce Harper 'confident' his back won't impact Opening Day start

Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Bryce Harper has been dealing with a nagging back injury but says his availability for Opening Day isn't in jeopardy. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Bryce Harper isn't concerned about his availability for Opening Day.

Even though the Philadelphia Phillies first baseman hasn't played in the past four spring training games due to back pain, he's confident he'll be good to go against the Atlanta Braves on March 28.

The 31-year-old hasn't recorded a home run or RBI so far, either.

"I feel pretty confident. I'm fine," he said Tuesday.

Harper's injury occurred Thursday when the Phillies faced the Boston Red Sox. He said he spoke with Phillies manager Rob Thomson about how he was feeling after exiting the game, and it was the skipper who suggested Harper take it easy.

After returning from Tommy John surgery in 2023, Harper hit .293 with 21 home runs and 72 RBI in 126 games. He did so while changing positions on the field.

Midway through last season, the Phillies moved Harper to first base after he spent the first part of his career in the outfield. Philadelphia would still like Harper to get more reps at first base this spring.

"When I talked to Thomper, when I told him I was a little sore, he was like, 'All right, we'll just throw you down a little bit and pick you back up next week. We'll see where you're at,'" Harper said. "I said, 'If it's back field or big field, I'll get my at-bats.'"